Error message

Image resize threshold of 10 remote images has been reached. Please use fewer remote images.




Location: Polyface Farms, Swoope, Virginia
Featuring: Joel Salatin

The herd is an organism, a mob, rather than a group of individuals.  In nature, the herd is created by predation pressure.  Here, Joel uses an electric fence, which he moves daily, in a process called mob stocking. Joel places the cows in a specific place for a specific time.  These herbivore are catalyst of this solar collection biomass system.   Their eating and defecating stimulate plants to grow.

Where does the energy come from? Well, the field runs on real time sun energy, not stored carbon like petroleum.  The best solar collector ever invented is still photosynthesis. It converts solar energy into vegetative, decomposable biomass.

Lignin is the glue that holds plant cellulose together; as a plant matures, lignification leads to a stronger cellulosic structure.  Nature doesn’t do green manuring, letting biomass drop to the soil surface until it’s brown-lignified.  That happens when cow meets grass. Consuming and processing the grass, burns energy, its waste product serving to fertilize the soil, driving the soil food web.

The soil food web gets even more complex. You see, plants create bilateral symmetry at the soil horizon.  When they are grazed upon, they voluntarily prune off an equivalent amount of root biomass to maintain symmetry.  This “pulsing” occurs exponentially as plants achieve their juvenile growth spurt.  This root biomass leaves carbon in the soil rather than exhausting it into the atmosphere. This routine dumping of organic matter into the soil feeds the soil biota (earthworms, for example).

Posts nearby

In 2011, Australia first implemented its innovative Carbon Farming Initiative. Carbon farming allows farmers to earn carbon credits by sequestering carbon or reducing greenhouse gas emissions on... Read more
By The Entrepreneur, Feb 10
In this short animated film, the Kimberley Land Council explains the Australian Carbon Farming Initiative.
By The Sprout, Feb 10
In this video clip, a South Australian farmer denies he is exploiting a legal loophole by distributing raw milk through a cow-share scheme. Several industry leaders and lawmakers including Mark Tyler... Read more
By The Consumer, Oct 31